APRIL 03, 2006
An accident in Arizona involving a horse trailer packed with illegal immigrants served as a reminder of the tremendous burden that undocumented aliens are having on America’s health care system.
The horse trailer crashed into a light pole over the weekend in Tucson and most of the 42 illegal immigrants inside were hurt and taken to Pima County hospitals that will treat the migrants at the expense of American taxpayers.
In fact, Pima County dished out $76 million to treat illegal immigrants in 2000 alone and one hospital, University Medical Center in Tucson, treated 681 migrants during a five-month period last year at a cost of $6.9 million.
Nationally, the huge impact of illegal immigration on American health care has been well-documented. Years ago, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons published a lengthy report documenting how the increasing number of illegal aliens has forced the closure of hospitals and spread previously vanquished diseases such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, polio and dengue. Additionally, the report explains the huge cost of so-called anchor babies, which are born to illegal aliens and instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits.
Earlier this month the Federation for American Immigration Reform published results from various studies that detail how high levels of unpaid medical bills for illegal immigrants have forced local health care providers to reduce staffing, increase rates and cut back services. One of the studies says that in 2000 almost $190 million of southwest border hospitals’ uncompensated costs were for emergency medical treatment for illegal aliens, with another $13 million in ambulance costs.
Dale Franks of QandO Blog says the cost is magnified by the fact that illegal immigrants do not undergo any medical screening prior to entering the U.S. and that illegal immigrants utilize emergency rooms for primary care since they make up 15% of the total number of uninsured people in the country.
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